Discovered over 2,000 years back, ginger is known as the healing spice in Ayurveda. Over the past few years, it has attained the stature of superfood due to its well-researched and well-documented usefulness in treating and preventing many diseases.
Throw in some ginger in your food or beverage, and it will quickly overpower all flavors. But this superfood is more than just about flavour. This pungent root or rhizome is known to have several nutritional and medicinal values too.
The flowering plant, which originated from China, is said to be useful in the treatment of common cold, flu, nausea, muscle pain, cancer, digestive disorder, Alzheimer and many other health problems. It derives its medicinal properties from Gingerol, which is the main bioactive compound in it and is supposed to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant impacts.
Often, the overwhelmingly fragrant spice is also used in processed foods and cosmetics.
A few grams of ginger in your daily diet can do wonders to keep you as fit as a fiddle. Various studies have frequently shown wide-ranging benefits of consuming ginger in all forms – raw, fresh, powder, dried, pickled, oil or juice.While the list of benefits of ginger runs long, we note down the top nine of them below:
It is well known that this oriental spice is one of the surest ways to relieve nausea caused by pregnancy and seasickness. Various researches have largely proven this but there is no evidence of ginger halting vomiting episodes. But the dosage of ginger intake during pregnancy should be decided after consultation with a gynecologist. A person consuming a large amount of ginger during pregnancy can be prone to miscarriage risk. Researches have shown an ideal dosage of ginger per day is 1-1-5 gram.
Relieves Pain and Stiffness in Osteoarthritis Patients
Gingerol is the oriental spice is anti-inflammatory and helps those suffering from Osteoarthritis to reduce pain and stiffness. Studies have revealed Osteoarthritis patients taking ginger in their diet regularly experience lesser pain and need less medication.
A mixture of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and season oil, applied topically, can work wonders on patients with this bone problem.
Has Anti-Diabetes Properties
Some recent studies have shown that ginger can drastically bring down blood sugar levels. A 2015 research, where the effects of ginger on 41 participants with type 2 diabetes were studied, has found that two grams of ginger powder daily can reduce fasting blood sugar by 12%.
Reduces Menstrual Pain
Several studies have found that when the fiery spice is taken at the start of the menstrual period, it helps in providing relief from cramps. However, it is advised not to consume more than 1 gram of ginger per day during the menstrual cycle.
Studies have revealed ginger contains components that can be used for treatment of cancer. It is claimed to be very effective in treating pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Though, this finding is not fully conclusive and requires further research.
Fights Brain, Age-Related Diseases
There has been evidence of ginger improving the functioning of the brain. It is also said to be effective against Alzheimer’s and other age-related brain ailments.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Substances present in ginger are said to protect against lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) by lowering their level in the body. Therefore, it can be said ginger helps in lowering the threat of heart disease in someone who regularly consumes it. Studies have shown three grams of ginger powder daily can effectively reduce the risk of cardiac diseases.
Gingerol, the bioactive substance present in raw ginger, stunts the growth of many bacteria. This reduces the chances of infection in people who include ginger as an essential ingredient in their daily food.
Improves Metabolism, Treats Indigestion
Ginger also works well for strengthening metabolism and is useful in curing indigestion. Ginger powder is taken in the dosage of 1.2 gram before meal hastens bowel movement by around 50% and offers relief from indigestion.
- Ginger is predominantly grown in India, Jamaica, Fiji, Indonesia, East Africa, the Caribbean, and Australia
- It has little or no side effects. At the most, it can aggravate symptoms of acid reflux, cause irritation in the mouth and diarrhea
- Of the many compounds found in this spicy root, gingerol and shogaols have been most widely researched
- Its most common side-effects are Diarrhoea, Heartburn, stomach upset, hives, swelling, and breathing disorder
The gingerbread man, which is today extremely popular among children, was first created by Queen Elizabeth I of England in the 16th century. It was born from her love for rhizome. The story goes she unveiled the gingerbread man at a royal ball. Several of her gingerbread men resembled the renowned guests who attended the ball.
- Ginger is a perennial lily, indigenous to tropical Asia, though it has never been found growing in the wild. Even though its exact botanical origins are unknown, it plays a rather large role in the ancient traditions of Ayurveda.
- In Ayurveda, ginger’s rasa (taste) is referred to as pungent and sweet. Through its sweet Vipaka, (post-digestive effect), it cools the body. Through its warm Virya (energy), it also subdues Vata and Kapha. Among the various healing properties attributed to ginger in the ancient Indian medical tome Sushrut Samhita, you can count Amanasaka (destroys toxins), Pacana (acts as a digestive), Chardinigrahaṇa (prevents nausea), Hikkanigrahaṇa (stops hiccups), Agni dῑpana (enkindles the digestive fire), Grahi (absorbs fluids from the intestines), Arśoghna (removes piles), Rasayana (rejuvenates), Kasasvssahara (alleviates cough and breathing difficulties), and Vedanasthapana (alleviates pain).